Sunday, October 31, 2010

Very Interesting...

I love coming across interesting web pages. Here are a few I've found over the last couple years. You can imagine what I used them for.

Latitidue and Longitude
Port of New York Passenger Lists
Blood Types of The World

Friday, October 29, 2010

In My Opinion - Judging Contests

A word of advice on judging an unpublished writer’s contest. If you receive an entry with so many mistakes you know the person is a newbie, point out the top five-ten areas of improvements. If you were to try to correct everything, the writer will shut down about halfway through reading it and ignore the whole critique, believing the judge was being over critical. So by concentrating on the most important aspects, you get your helpful advice across to the entrant and you don’t waste your time.

Oh, another thing. My writers' group contest has the maximum score at 100 points. I can tell you, anyone with a 90 or less on more than one entry, rarely finals, and never in the big three categories (Romantic Suspense, Single Title and Unique Genres). So personally I seldom give anyone a score below a 70. To me, no matter how bad the entry is, giving a small score is senseless and demoralizing to the entrant. The person is going to ignore your critique (see paragraph above). So critique kindly and be generous within reason on your scoring. Like I said, they won’t final anyway. Just my personal opinion.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Are Family!

My sister looked up our family tree and she found that our maternal great and great-great grandfather had the same first name of Valentine. So old world. Love it. They came over in the 1800’s from Germany.

There are two parts of our family tree we can’t search. One you can probably guess is because my father’s mother’s father was an orphan and he didn’t remember anything about his family. Or at least claimed he didn’t. My cynical side showing here. Then my mother’s mother’s family was from the Netherlands and their last name was Smith. You can imagine in the U.S. that’s a very popular name. Unless you have specifics, which most of us don’t, it’s near to impossible to locate that branch of the family. And if you have specifics, why are you looking? Duh.

My sis has done big time research on my dad’s family. They’re mainly Welsh, but with a mix of English, Irish, and Scottish. Can we say United Kingdom?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quote of the Day

Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts.
Ruth Gordon

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sugar And Spice

Is it easier to be mean or nice? I think it depends on the person and their outlook on life. I know some days I have no problem giving people the benefit of the doubt. Those days I feel good and love how it feels being kind and making someone smile. I feel good about myself and firmly believe I can accomplish anything.

Then those other days come along, the ones I could pinch babies and kick dogs. I don’t like myself and I make others suffer along with me. No kindness or consideration of others cross my mind. I feel that dark cloud suffocating me with its negativity. I hate those days and thankfully they are few and far in-between.

So, the question was, is it easier to be mean or nice? How much work does it take to be either? The answer is no work at all. But it is the aftermath that gets you. The clean up of hurt feelings and damaged relationships. So I strive to remain positive and when I do get in those terrible funks, I keep my mouth shut and away from people.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yummmy Covers

I love how the romance book industry has finally gotten the right idea about book covers. No, I’m not talking about the generic covers of landscapes or flowers. I’m talking about the covers with only gorgeous men. They can be fully clothed, shirts wide open or stark naked. I just loved them.

Use to most romance novels had couples on them, with the woman showing her overflowing lovelies for all to gander and the guy fully clothed, staring off in the distance, like the woman didn’t even exist. Then someone at Johanna Lindsey’s publishing house got smart. They would show the woman half dressed as usual but the man would be naked, staring down the woman at his feet. Now they were getting the idea. I didn’t read the novels for the beautiful women, it was the MEN!

Then the last few years, I noticed it first on Sherrilyn’s books, the publishers realized women do indeed loved looking at men. The covers of half clothed men appeared. I didn’t even care that some books didn’t have the men’s faces on them. For that part I always stuck my husband’s face on them anyway. My husband has a nice body, but he doesn’t have ten hours a day to workout and sculpt abs like on the cover models…though most are airbrushed in. Sorry, ladies.

But I’m very happy the publishers finally got the idea. Oh, yeah, I’m so very happy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old Standbys

I have a few books I love to read over and over again. Rainbow Season by Candice Camp (w/a Lisa Gregory) is one. Some basic stories, no matter who writes it (as long as it's good), never gets old.

Today, I was watching a movie with a classic tale of a fat boy who did good and became slim and handsome and returns to his hometown determined to show the girl he loved what she missed out on. The fat boy you can sub in bad boy and it would be like so many of the romance books I love to read.

In fact, it gave me a great idea of a new book. So instead of starting on it (like I use to in the old days), I jotted down the concept in my file called "Miscellaneous." This is actually the second file I started with miscellaneous thoughts. The other one I have saved on a flash drive and some of the ideas I've already used separately or combined in a few of my stories. It sure comes in handy and keeps you from forgetting that next great story.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Girls vs Boys

Being a mother of two girls, I never worried about bringing up a boy. I can’t tell you how many times I would have female friends and acquaintances with only boys who would say ignorant things like “I wouldn’t know what to do with a girl.” Goodness, ladies. You were a girl once. What did you like to do? Well, girls still like those things.

Girls are easy to deal with. Yes, they’re hormonal but you are too. So you know to either hug them or leave them alone. Yes, some slimy boy can get them pregnant and walk away. But that’s where you educate them in the ways of boys and men and sex. Yes. You do have to talk with them and teach them to be ladies. I’ve never understood the world’s belief that raising girls were any harder than boys. At least with a girl, I don’t have to worry about her growing up to be a serial killer. Think. White men are more likely to be one than a woman. I don’t have to worry about her being an alcoholic (men are the greater percentage), walking away from their kids (men continue in the larger share) or beat their husbands (what do you think?).

Sure the parents of girls normally have to buy more clothes (boys are known to wear the same outfit for days), purchase cars (most boys have to work for theirs, but they are also notorious for making more money even at part-time jobs), or pay for weddings (the boys’ pay for rehearsal and rent a tux…whoopee-do). But then for boys, they crash their cars and the insurance goes up and they get tickets and insurance goes up. We can go on and on, but you get the idea.

It’s all in the way you look at it. Right?

I will say no matter girl or boy, children are wonderful. Well, my children are. Don’t know about yours. LOL!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good Day

Yesterday, I had a good day. It started off with me waking up and feeling good. Not sleepy, not aching somewhere and not late. Then I did my daily weighing. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment. And I finally hit my goal. That last pound was a bitch to get rid of. Don't get excited. I have a whole lot more to go, but I'm taking it ten pounds at a time. So now to start working on another ten.

Then I got to work and was told by three different customers, one co-worker and a sales engineer (another co-worker) that they enjoyed working with me. WOW! That's nice to hear. And though they're always nice to me, they rarely say anything like that.

I went to my hair appointment and my hair dresser and her assistant both told me how much they love seeing me come in and not just for the business. Her assistant who's a teenager said I was cool. That's high praise.

Wow! I needed all of that. Yes. I feel good. And my hair is so pretty.

Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grease II

I probably mentioned here before, but I'm one of the few who loves Grease II. Maxwell Caulfield was so sexy in his black leather.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Disappeared

You thought I disappeared, didn't you? I was busy this weekend, trying to be everything for everyone. You know, that usual womanly thing we all do.

For now, I'm trying to finish up my first person paranormal, encourage people to judge my writers' group's contest and send the entries out to the volunteers.

Busy, busy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Open It!

At where I work, they have a great virus scan that stores away the spam mail and deletes it after a period of time. They do it that way just in case an email I actually need gets thrown into the folder. Anyway, for the heck of it, I decided to check out what was sitting out there and I was amazed how many, easily two hundred, were sent in a 24 hr period.

I guess people somewhere open those emails and purchased the things they’re selling. Surely, the quantities would be less if they didn’t.

What struck me so funny was the subject lines. Of course, you have the usual, “Be a stallion in bed,” “Great sex for free,” and “Last longer for free.” Then there are the ones you can tell they’re translating and doing it poorly, “Professional Man Snake hardeners,” or “Maximize Your Man Snake.” Eeek! Keep that snake away from me! LOL!

And where do they get off with telling me, “Erectile issues are not your fault”? I know that. I don’t own one. Unless you count…nah, we ain’t going there. They obviously think only men are interested in sex and are the only ones on the internet.

I do wonder if I clicked on all of those spam emails, would I have a great sex life and clear skin? I do know if that was true I certainly wouldn’t need the anxiety pills they offer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BREATHLESS

Anne Stuart did it again. The third in her House of Rohan series (BREATHLESS) was even better than the first (RUTHLESS) and I loved the first one. The second (RECKLESS) was very good, but the other two were awesome.

I love have she writes the bad guys who are the heroes. Their sexy and so redeemable. Of course, in real life I would stay miles and miles away from them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slipping Away

Wow! Yesterday was crazy. It was the deadline for my chapter's unpublished author contest. It's amazing how many people will wait until the last minute to enter.

To be truthful, I've done it a time or two myself.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My New Study

My new study is almost completed. It's working out beautifully. Though I haven't sweated this much since July in Orlando. Next I have to move my books from upstairs and get rid of many of them. Yes. You read that correctly. I've decided if I haven't read at least one of the authors books again, then off they go.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Quote For The Day

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Anger Management

When you have a friend angry about something…let’s say a situation at her job, do you try to calm her down and make her see the other side or do you nod your head and say “I understand what you mean?”

If the friend just appears to be letting off steam, I’ll agree and nod my head, listening intently, adding words like, “I can’t believe he/she did that,” “Oh, my goodness, that’s awful,” or “Some people don’t have a lick of sense.”

After she gets it all off her chest, she’ll realize what a good friend you are and how you’re a great listener. Too often when you try to calm a person down, they’ll turn that anger on you. So you have to tread carefully, and usually listening is best.

Unless they have a gun. Then try to calm them down and see the other side. Be sure to duck behind cover first.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah

When I was growing up, I was a talker. Even now around some people I can still talk a person’s ear off. But I find myself being quiet and listening. Maybe it’s the writer in me. In a conversation, you can’t stop, delete what you said and start over in a different direction. Yes. Writing has spoiled me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Guess What!

My book, OUT OF THE SHADOWS, finaled in the Florida Romance Writers' 2010 Golden Palm! In the Single Title category. Adam Wilson with Mira is the final judge. I'm so happy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Personal Library

Whenever I loan a book out, I try to write it down somewhere. Otherwise, times passes and I forget it’s mine. So do the person who borrowed it. I’ve lost several good books that way. At least, I think I did.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thank you, God, For Computers

I was reading a beautifully written historical romance the other day and couldn’t help wondering if the reason we have so many new authors to choose from is because it’s so easy to “write” on computers. I remember how long it took to type a manuscript out on a typewriter. My goodness! It took forever and don’t get me started on Wite-Out™…

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Big Sigh

Have you ever been around someone who can take a simple sentence like “I’m broke” and make it into a discussion of the world’s problems? Geez! Lighten up!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Smooth Music

I love the blues. We have a new blues café that opened up in my little town. Somehow I have to convince my husband we need to go and check it out.